Spotify says that Apple’s rules make the process of buying an audiobook on Spotify “too complicated and confusing,” adding that Apple changes its “rules arbitrarily, making them impossible to interpret.” In addition, Apple charges a commission of up to 30 percent on purchases made in apps listed on the App Store and prohibits certain developers from using or directing users to a third-party payment processor.
Following this line, Spotify CEO Daniel Eck He explained that “Apple has shown time and time again that it will not self-regulate and that it has no real incentive to change.” Spotify created specifically to support its cause, plus the company says Apple rejected its proposed audiobook purchase process three times because it went against App Store policies.
Spotify alleges against Apple for hindering the sale of audiobooks
For his part, the Apple spokesman, Adam Demahas said that Spotify’s app was “rejected for not following guidelines on including explicit in-app communications to direct users away from the app to make digital purchases,” but that Apple “doesn’t have a problem with reading apps that add audiobook content to their apps, link users to websites to sign up for services, or communicate with customers externally about alternative purchasing options.”
In turn, to ensure compliance with Apple’s rules, Spotify hides the price of its audiobooks and does not allow users to buy content in the application. For this reason, what you do is select the book you want to buy and Spotify sends you an email with a link to consult on the web. This makes it harder to compare prices, which you only find out about via email. Spotify says that this process “harms not only consumers, but, this time, also authors and publishers who are now under the control of Apple.”
For context, it is important to mention that It is not the first time that Spotify alleges against Apple. In 2019, the streaming music company filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in Europe, alleging that the company is harming consumer choice by imposing its 30 percent “Apple tax.”
Daniel Ek has explained that “in the absence of government intervention, in Europe, the United States or any other market in the world, Apple has shown time and time again that it will not self-regulate and that it has no real incentive to change. With the launch of our audiobooks, Apple has once again shown how brazen you’re willing to be with your App Store rulesconstantly changing targets to put their competitors at a disadvantage,” he added.
Spotify could make it easier to buy audiobooks by using Apple’s in-app purchase system, subjecting each purchase to a commission of up to 30 percent charged by Apple. It would also make it harder for Spotify to compete with Apple Books.